Connected fitness giant Peloton said on Thursday (Sept. 9) that it will begin selling its own private-label apparel, a move likely meant to capitalize on the recent growth in demand for athleticwear as the company continues to diversify its offerings and chart a path out of trouble.
Peloton first began selling apparel in 2014, partnering with brands such as Lululemon, Rhone, Beyond Yoga and others to collaborate on seasonal offerings, but this is the first collection of items from its own private line. Peloton said it worked with members and instructors on creating the collection “to ensure every style is high-performing and body-inclusive.”
Jill Foley, Peloton’s vice president of apparel, said the goal is for Peloton Apparel “to enhance our members’ lifestyles, not just one part of their day.”
“With each collection, we’re offering reliable pieces that support your sweatiest days, your busiest days, your rest days and beyond,” she said.
The move comes just weeks after Peloton disclosed that it has been subpoenaed by the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security for documents and information related to how the company reported injuries caused by its treadmills earlier this year. The matter is also being investigated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the SEC is looking into public disclosures on the subject.
In May, Peloton was forced to recall its treadmill machines after reports of one death and dozens of injuries; several lawsuits have been filed in association with the recalls. Sales of the company’s Tread+ product, which has only been available in the U.S. so far, remain paused as the company continues to evaluate safety measures, though a different treadmill product returned to the market last week.
In addition to apparel, Peloton is reportedly also considering a move into the wearable tech space with an armband that would monitor the user’s heart rate. The company already sells a heart rate monitor that users can strap to their chests, but this new armband would track how intensely a user is working out on a small screen that also shows features like battery level. Peloton has yet to officially announce the new tech.
The Competitive Landscape
The launch of Peloton Apparel comes at a time when consumers seem reluctant to put away their comfortable clothes, leading many brands to double down on their athletic apparel offerings. Earlier this year, for example, Victoria’s Secret launched a new collection of athleticwear, part of the retailer’s rebirth after years of faltering. And last month, footwear company Wolverine Worldwide acquired U.K.-based athletic apparel brand Sweaty Betty, with plans to expand the brand’s presence in the U.S.
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Lululemon earlier this week posted second-quarter earnings that surpassed Wall Street’s expectations, and in a conference call with analysts on Wednesday (Sept. 8), Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald said the company expects the momentum to continue. Based on its current forecast, Lululemon is set to surpass its 2023 revenue target by the end of this year, two years ahead of schedule.
“We know that the pandemic drove forward [and] accelerated some of the guest behaviors that play to the strength of our brand,” including general fitness and wellness, as well as wider usage of athletic apparel, McDonald said.
Several athletic apparel brands have also started stepping into the connected fitness space in an effort to create a complete ecosystem for consumers, which is perhaps why Peloton saw fit to step on their turf in return. Lululemon last year acquired in-home fitness company Mirror for $500 million, and now has Mirror shop-in-shops at 150 of its stores. The company has also doubled the number of live Mirror classes offered and plans to launch a new eCommerce site for the home gym brand later this year.
Gap Inc.’s Athleta also launched a new health and wellness platform in July in a bid to increase loyalty to the athletic brand. AthletaWell, which will be a part of the Athleta website, will feature free access to exclusive obé Fitness workouts for members, with four new workouts launching each month.